Posted in blogging, exercise, fitness, My training Diary, Sport, Writing

Training for a Half Ironman-Give Up or Get Real

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Ironman Cairns-June 2016

Give up or Get Real

Training for a Half Ironman

CHAPTER 2

Both of these options come with benefits, and BOTH are considered regularly. If I was to withdraw from the Ironman event in June, it would by no means be a train smash. I mean so what? Nobody would care, it’d give me more rest, it’d enable me to have more time and I probably wouldn’t feel so smashed. Sounds like a viable, realistic plan to me.

On the flip side, persevering with training-although challenging, is catapulting me into new territory- and I like that. In fact, I don’t just like that, I need that. I’m 44 this year, and I’m fitter than I have ever been, and that is like blue skies and sunshine to me. It’s like medicine to my otherwise doubting self. Like sweets with strawberries and cream and sugar and all of those horrid things to my sometimes troubled mind which obsesses with  aging and disease and loss.

To give up would be to continue with the routine. Not so bad I guess, but predictable. Getting up close and personal with the me I have known for 40 years is getting a little stale. I want to know the me that hasn’t been tested to this level. I want to see what else is inside of me. I want to grow and learn and endure and build resilience and make memories and tell a story untold and undiscovered. I want to go somewhere I have not been before. I want to veer off the track and get lost in the bush and navigate my way out.

I want to overcome the urge to fall back into my yesterday, and repaint the same old picture on the same old canvas. I want to fill the empty spaces in my future with fresh colours and new appreciations for what I am capable of as a 44 year old woman, who is no longer able to lean on the crutch of youth to get through life.

So getting real, is the plan for the next few months. Giving up, will have to wait.

Last week was my first full training week. 7 sessions. Three swim, two cycle and two run. This will have to do. There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to improve upon this, and THAT my friends, is that. With a pretty demanding working week, two teenage boys, a household that grows dishes and washing like the grass grows in far north queensland, and a few hobbies I throw myself into, I am ecstatic that I am able to achieve this at all…but it is hard.

I have found that finding the time isn’t the issue.

I have a workable training schedule that doesn’t interfere too much with my daily routine (except on weekends when the long cycles cut into the clock)-

– the issue is the flipping f word-fatigue.

As it is, I am practically falling asleep writing this, and I hate to admit it, but my manager had to wake me up at work last week when to my complete surprise and embarrassment, I was asleep bolt upright in front of the computer mid-morning. She touched me on the shoulder and I jumped, adding a  Slur of words and a confused disposition. After this, the thought of giving up smashed its way into my mind like a bull in a china shop. Surely, I can’t continue this way.

But getting real involves pushing personal boundaries in order to realise ones limitations. What I learned that day, was that I needed to re-evaluate my training schedule, my sleep, my diet and my weekly routine in order to make my training requirements sustainable.  Perhaps I needed a rest. Perhaps my body, clearly not used to this intensity of training, was simply in an adjustment phase. Perhaps I didn’t need to change anything at all, and it would come right with patience.

So far this week, training hasn’t really gone to plan. Through necessity, I’ve pulled back on the intensity in order to curb the fatigue. My swim this morning was more of a float and a leisurely stroll up the verticle black line than a decent training session. But I turned up, and I did the distance. I missed a run session this afternoon in favour of sleep, and this weekends cycling is in doubt as the family head south for a weekend swim meet in support of our eldest sons quest to prepare for Age Nationals in April.

My excuse, is that it’s so wet outside I wouldn’t be cycling anyway!

Am I giving up?

Nope, I’m pacing myself-or at least that’s the story in my head.

One thing is for sure, the journey so far has been unpredictable, inconsistent and rocky. I have questioned my motives and my ability many, many times. But it’s new, and it’s interesting, and difficult and frustrating and exhausting and exhilarating…and it’s my choice. It’s my choice to live outside the line for a few months, to learn about discipline and dedication and hard work.

I do not know how this story will end, but I’m living it with my eyes wide open baby, and that’s what it’s all about.

Posted in blogging, Writing

Don’t tell me I can’t

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She writes,

yet her writing does not appeal to her year 12 English teacher.

“English is not your subject”

…and so, she follows the path of Science

“because you’re better at that”

and yet, 20 years later, when she no longer listens,

she writes anyway.

Because that is what is inside of her

because she has ‘stuff’ to say

because she has ‘stuff’ to share

and because she has a heart for it.

Literary brilliance, literary magnetism, literary success,

is about passion, and truth, and reality.

It’s about perseverance

and  belief

and sharing

and  risk

It’s about throwing away the rule book

…and daring to be free

It’s about blocking your ears to the entire universe

in order to unlock the gates to yours.

It’s rebelling against the world with prose

It’s making peace with one’s thoughts

It’s about you

and no-one else,

and having the strength to expose yourself to vulnerability, and failure, and fear and judgement.

It’s about believing, that if your year 12 English teacher says you can’t, it’s not the end.

Because it’s never over, until YOU say so

and if you truly, truly, want it…

you absolutely can. 

…and so she writes. 

 

Posted in Daily muse, Photography, Writing

Why I Don’t Write Anymore

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WHY I DON’T WRITE ANYMORE-The rise and fall of the flame

-Nicole Martin

It’s been a very long time since I’ve put pen to paper-or to be truthful, keys to iPad screen.

I used to love to tell a story. I still do, I guess…yet I’ve discovered over the years, that if the words are not there, they are not meant to be written. Forced writing is bloody aweful. Reading it, is not dissimilar to enduring a boring speech written by someone other than the speaker, and delivered by a less than willing participant who’s connection with the topic is zip. There’s no resonance, it’s unauthentic, and it’s dishonest.

If I believe my writing is not honest, if it’s not truly me, then it’s not storytelling and it’s not truth. It’s just worthless words that mean nothing, and a serious waste of the reader’s time.

So if I have nothing to say-It is what it is.

In the interim, I am delighted to adorn my canvas with the images of a Tropical Paradise-a peacefully silent method of storytelling. A potentially powerful means by which to connect the viewer to their heartstrings and memories in their own unique way. This relatively new journey of imagery has highlighted the need for me to refine the art, and challenge myself further in order to achieve the outcome I so passionately desire-connection.

For the real magic in life is all about connection is it not?

That raging passion, that unconscionable excitement, that unwavering drive to attack the previously believed unattainable, is all about connection.

Ultimately, if there is no connection, there is nothing but an empty space that lingers, and the impossibly human need to fill it with something more meaningful, subconsciously gnaws.

I have decided, that despite my wavering interests, I will go with whatever my heart tells me to do at that particular moment in time. Life is not a prison. We are free to change our minds, lose interest in what we previously enjoyed, adopt a new challenge, connect with new friends, and birth new goals, with no need for justification, but simply an acceptance and a fresh appreciation for the new.

On the flip side, I have been known to fumble around vaguely for decades, continuously searching for what drives me, continuously searching for a magic connection, or whatever the phrase is…only to discover I have unknowingly circumnavigated my universe and ended up right back where it all began-My unique connection to the outside world-and yours-has always been within me-yet in disguise. Disguised by the freedom of youth, disguised by not having suffered yet, disguised by family values and beliefs, disguised by societal expectation, disguised by limited understanding of self.

So where does that leave me today?

Well, who would’ve thought. I’m writing again…and as I continue to dream and tackle the world, in peace with my dog, all is good and all is exciting, and scary and new and old and uncertain and connected.

Here’s to a pushing the next boundary!

Burn

Save

Posted in Photography, Writing

The Best Of You

 

 

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“She felt she was nothing more than a consumer, nothing more than the sum of her daily obligations and duties”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

-yet it didn’t have to be that way.

After a lengthy period of internal struggle and desperation, she snuck one toe across the invisible line. The line separating fear and courage. The line separating conformist and individual.

Here, she discovered she was so much more than she believed she was.

She gave herself permission to nurture her passions despite her fear of judgement. To do what she needed to do to despite her guilt or her perceived lack of ability.

-and the flood gates opened.

The flood gates that were cleverly concealing a universe of possibilities that were alive inside her, yet not realised.

She crossed the line. She went to the other side that society said was only for the talented, the gifted, the wealthy and the beautiful-but she crossed it with her eyes open, carrying fear on her back, yet shielded by a steadfast armour of determination and courage.

At times, she catches herself peering over her shoulder, looking back at the comfort that was-but she remembers.

She remembers this comfort was the devil that was stifling her ability to truly live and to grow, and to be free, and to love herself and to feel like a human being that’s unique and worthy of a contribution.

So try.

Give yourself permission to uncover the gems that already lie within.

Run across the line, and take what you truly deserve to have.

The best of you.

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt

Purpose

Posted in blogging, Daily muse, mindfullness, Photography, Writing

You will survive, it’s your destiny

WordPress Photo Challenge

Abstract

Pride
Jetty, Cairns Australia

Survival

It was born disadvantaged, but it entwined itself through cracks and crevices, a tortuous path indeed.

Through ever uncertain territory, it continued it’s journey to reach for the sun, despite the odds against it.

Now, blessed with Nature’s wisdom, it flourishes like never before, as it discovers how disadvantage is never the end.

Posted in blogging, Dogs, mindfullness, Stories, Writing

If only we could think like a dog

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Author

Nicole Martin

‘Us Humans Have It So Violently Wrong’

‘What skin product am I using I hear you ask?

I know, I know, you would all like to be as handsome as me. I’m sorry, some of us just have good genes, it’s just life.

People often comment-

“He must be what, 2-3?”

I’m actually almost 7, don’t fall off your chair.

I find, some good sea air, regular chasing of tennis balls around, and around, and around, the oval, some good social bonding with my buddies, cuddles with mum dad and my brothers, and lots of sleep, are the secret to my fabulous complexion.

Yes I know there’s a little grey there, but I think that actually adds to my appeal, don’t you agree? A little sophistication goes a long way. Other dogs all want to look like me because it shows how many years I’ve been having fun.

I said to them,

“Look guys, be patient. Your turn will come. It takes many years of living to look as good as me!”‘

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MORAL OF THE STORY

Us humans have it so violently wrong.

Love yourself as you age.

It’s this beautiful transitioning into maturity, that should be embraced, respected, admired and celebrated.

Stop trying to make yourself appear younger.

We all make this mistake, don’t we?

Why?

Because we believe people will love us more if we’re more attractive. But that is so sad, because they WON’T! It’s one of  the biggest misconceptions of life.

People just want you. That’s all they want, and if they want something else, something fake, then YOU DON’T WANT THEM.

Detach yourself from EGO, and you will feel lighter than you ever imagined possible.

Think like your dog.

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